More Studies Necessary for Laser Treatments of Acne


In a recent question/answer feature by the Charlotte Observer, one consumer raised the question of whether laser treatments are appropriate for the treatment of acne. The response: there is still some skepticism. The consumer’s question referred a recommendation to try a series of Smoothbeam laser treatments, which they did—four treatments, which reportedly “seemed to help with the acne and scarring a bit,” but the comment was that the sessions were not as effective as expected and were quite expensive.

The published response to this query states that the Smoothbeam Laser is a 1,450 nm wavelength, diode, nonablative (noninjurious) laser that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating acne and acne scars, but that there is limited research showing it to be effective for scarring and for reducing the presence of acne lesions. Thus, more comparative studies are needed to determine the long-term effects and to perfect these technologies.

Until more is known, laser and light therapies offer an alternative for individuals whose acne has not responded to traditional acne therapies. The journal references two sources for the published response:

1. Web:, Acnenet from the American Academy of Dermatology; Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, July 2005, pages 97-102; and Dermatologic Surgery, September 2005, pages 1223-1226.

2. Paula Begoun, “Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (6th edition)," Beginning Press, 1030 SW 34th Street, Suite A, Renton, WA 98055; Web:

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